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Last weekend I got to spend time with all of the artists you see below. Not quite in their studio, but at the 2013 Tuscon Festival of Books! It is the fourth largest book event in the country. And it happens right here in Arizona. It's a two hour drive south for me, but gives you two full days worth of book fun! I went to the presentations of the following picture book illustrators. (Plus, many excellent authors, but since Fridays are all about studios I'm going to focus mainly on the illustrators. Although I did find a couple of cool writing spaces I had to include.)
To see a link to each studio, some with interviews, click on the photo. To go to the website of each artist click on their name. So be sure to click both places!
Remember, this is just a handful of the talent the Tuscon Festival of Books had to offer. There were many, many sessions I had to pick from, so some I had to miss. If you haven't gone before, mark your calendar for next year!
Be sure to check out the post at Gommies World. She has some great information, and a video, of the workshop Floyd Cooper presented. I was right there in the front row for this one too. It was a very special day!
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Since I've been spending so much time in my studio and it's been so long since I did a post just about me, I thought today I'd link you up with some previous posts all about my studio! I hope to someday get all the photographs from when we built the studio organized and show the construction, as well as the construction drawings I drew, to build this little piece of paradise.
And what studio wouldn't be complete with out a favorite chair and someone to keep you company.
Wendy's work for BEDTIME BUNNIES was included in the 2011 Society of Illustrators annual "Original Art" exhibit. You can read more about Wendy in this great interview. And be sure to follow these links and head over to Wendy's blog to see even more photos of her summer studio. Both before and after being cleaning up!
Everyone has had one of these right? Sadly, the french inventor of this timeless toy passed away last month. In honor of André Cassagnes, the creator of this Ohio Art classic, check out the following artwork and studios of these amazing Etch-A-Sketch artists.
Today, check out this Mark Teague video from School Library Journal's 100 Scope Notes. You'll not only get to peek into his studio and see his process, you'll get a bit of advise and inspiration. Also check out this great interview with Mark and Jane Yolen from Scholastic. You find some of Mark's books here. And his bio here. Enjoy!
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Special thanks to the American Library Association (ALA) for the live webcast. What a fun way to hear the results over my morning cup of coffee! Be sure to follow this link to see the complete list of all the winners in all of the categories. Congratulations again to everyone!
In honor of the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott head over to@ Your Library and vote! Your name could be drawn to receive a copy of the 2013 winning Caldecott title and a $25 Amazon gift card! Contest will remain open until 2:00 p.m. Central time, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013.
If you need help remembering your favorite Caldecott Medal-winning title, just follow these links from @ Your Library, and you will find book covers, grouped by decades, of all the past award winners.
Talk about a dream design space! In the studio of Lane Smith you'll not only find a dream library filled with Smith’s collection of vintage children’s books, complete with a library ladder, but you'll also find a rustic stone fireplace to relax near on those cold Connecticut winters, all tucked away in a cozy barn behind his 200-year old farmhouse.
(Photographs by David Prince.)
In his own words, author and illustrator Lane Smith ''has written and illustrated a bunch of stuff." That means over thirty books including, Abe Lincoln's Dream,Grandpa Green- a 2012 Caldecott Honor Book, national bestsellers Madam President and John, Paul, George & Ben, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!by Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky,James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, plus,with Jon Scieszka his titles have included the Caldecott Honor winner The Stinky Cheese Man; The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs; Math Curse; andScience Verse.
Be sure to check out his blog where you'll get to take a peak at the books on his bookcases and a bunch of other stuff!
(Photograph by David Prince.)
You can see more of Lane Smith and graphic designer Molly Leach's 1800's farmhouse in a featured article from Country Living Magazine. Interesting Side-note: I didn't come across this while researching illustrators like I normally would. I was actually looking on Pinterest for design ideas on stone fireplaces! (I just acquired some bargain basement stone to use in our cabin, and I need to design the fireplace around a small quantity of stone.) Out of all the fireplace photos out there I come across Lane Smith's. And a article on his home and studio to boot. How cool is that!
With all the NewberyandCaldecott talk and predictions out there I thought it would be nice to take a look at not only what may be the next winner, but what has won in the past. If you have a favorite title you are rooting for post it in a comment. I would love to hear about it! Next week I will post my favorite book of the year that I think is Caldecott deserving in every facet of picture book brilliance.
Mark your calendar for theCaldecott Medal 75th Anniversary!
The ALA will announce all the awards at 8 a.m. PT on Jan. 28 from the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. The awards include the esteemed John Newbery Medal, Randolph Caldecott Medal, Coretta Scott King Book Awards and Michael L. Printz Award.
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) announced that John Rocco will participate in a Caldecott 75th Anniversary Facebook Forum at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Rocco won a Caldecott Honor in 2012 for his picture book Blackout.
Want to learn more about the logo 2008 Caldecott Medal winner Brian Selznick created especially for the 75th Anniversary celebration and the characters in it? Just click here.
And for a little more fun, read Brian's acceptance speech forThe Invention of Hugo Cabrethere and watch the illustrated sequence that played on huge video screens during the speech here.
Today you can check out the studio of children's book illustrator Lisa Woodruff. Lisa has illustrated 18 children's books including Ten on the Sled. Publishers Weekly's ShelfTalker has a great article and tour of her studio. You'll even get to see a sneak peek of the upcoming snowy adventure, If It’s Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws! It looks like another great collaboration with Kim Norman! Just follow this link.
I'm planning on making this a regular fixture for Fridays on this blog. If you see a great studio tour you'd like me to link, just let me know. Or if you have a studio you'd like featured take some photos and I'd be glad to conduct an interview myself and feature you here! Here are a couple of studio tours and interviews I've done in the past. Behind the Snowflakes: Jennifer ThermesandChris Gall. They too were snow inspired. As part of the 2007 "Blogging for a Cure" auction and fundraiser, the Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, or 7-Imp blog, featuredinterviews of allthe artists who created snowflakes for the event. Guess who was on that list then too? Yup. Lisa Woodruff. Display CommentsAdd a Comment
We have a winner! Karin Marie's name was drawn for this contest. A signed copy of First Snow is on the way to her.
Karin Marie said... I enjoy reading The Night Before Christmas, but I often find that I will pick up the newest Debbie Macomber Christmas book. It seems like she has a new Christmas themed one every year!
What a fitting choice. I recently had a neighbor send these amazing photos of our cabin with the first snow of the year. I thought I'd share this winter sight with you all. For a desert dweller it's such a treat. Enjoy!
Our dog's house.
(She really doesn't stay there. She's an indoor dog.)
Here's a Christmas card video put together by my art agent. Enjoy a very nice sampling of artwork from all the artists they represent! Merry Christmas. Thank you Wendy & Janice!
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Mention a favorite book you like to read over and over each Christmas, and you can win a signed print, your choice, of my holiday art. Just leave a comment with the title and I'll add your name to the list. Get your comment in by midnight on December 31, 2012. In the spirit of procrastination I'll announce the winner on January 2, 2013. Merry Christmas!
Did you know that November is officially Picture Book Month? What a better way to wrap up the month than to read a whole bunch of great interviews of amazing picture book creators! Thanks go to the following group of talented picture book illustrators who conducted these mini-interviews.
On this journey to get published it seems the road has been nothing short of long and winding, yet just one little turn can send you down an unexpected path. I've always believed in fate. I've always believed things happen for a reason. The last couple of years I'm having a hard time figuring out what that reason might be, but I'm hoping one day it will all make perfect sense. So when a simple chain events leads me smack-dab in the hands of "my" new agent, I have to think there just might be something to this fate business after all.
Here's how the story goes.
It's the middle of the month and I'm in the middle of a rut. I'm going to work each day, trying to figure out when I'll have time to work on new stories, feeling a little low, needing a little inspiration. I haven't been out for awhile, when some people at work plan a Happy Hour get-together. Perfect I think. It's been weeks, maybe months since I went out. I'm ready to go! So I accept. Then wouldn't you know it, the very next day I get an email invite from my local illustrators group for a meeting. On the same day! At the same time! We hadn't had a meeting for months, maybe six or seven months, and now we're getting together on the same day I already made a commitment for. I'm thinking what bad luck I have, wishing they were on different days.
So I go the the Happy Hour. It's close to work, which is close to home. We get done earlier than I expect. Now, I'm the type of person who doesn't like to miss out things. My Mom says I'm always trying to fit 10 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound bag. (Actually I don't think she uses the word potatoes.) I'm on my way home believing that's where I'm heading when I approach the freeway on-ramp sign, next thing I know I'm making a quick call to a friend to find out how far into the meeting they are. Twenty minutes later I'm walking into the meeting. Late, but walking in, ready to hear what every one's been up to. I knew Molly would be there sharing her portfolio and her recent experiences in New York City, I just didn't know I'd be there too. Molly Idle won the SCBWI portfolio award grand prize back in August. As part of her grand prize she won a trip to New York to meet with a few Art Directors from major houses and tonight she had stories to tell! Lynne Avril was there too, which always makes the meetings a hoot and a half! She had some original art to show. Part of her Amelia Bedelia books. I'm always amazed at the amount of work she can do in a short amount of time.
As the meeting is wrapping up I'm having a discussion with Molly, who is also querying agents. She mentions an agent that I had queried awhile back but never heard from. I decide the next day that I should query that agent again, maybe she never got the initial query? Within hours I have a reply. She looked at my website, calls my work beautiful, but passes. Again, I hear my work is too realistic. I send her a thank you. (I normally don't do this. I figu
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My quest to become published took a slight detour. Going from working on my books and art full-time, to working a full-time job doing something else, and spending any time I could find working on my books… happened.
During this time something had to give. I spent what little “online” time I had researching, staying current on the industry, networking, reading others blogs and looking for inspiration. There was little time left for me to join message boards or even post on this blog. I stayed involved with any conferences and workshops I could. Unfortunately, I had to miss some. I went to the library less often. Yet I still managed to come home with arm loads of books.
Along the way I got an agent, completed illustrations on two books by other authors, and received one very exciting package in the mail. My very first published book! It didn’t happen the way I expected, but it did happen.I didn’t get to share it here like I wanted. There wasn’t a lot of hoopla. My family was blindsided with tragedy around this time. But one thing I will never forget was having the opportunity to hand a copy of my very first book to one of my biggest supporters, my mother-in-law. She not only knew how to praise, she knew how to be a critic. The type of critic who truly critiques your work in a way that helps you to improve.
Sadly, sharing that book was our last visit. This leads me to today. I want to continue this blog and show the reality of what a long, hard path this journey to publication can be. I also want to share the many joys the journey holds. The roadblocks aren’t over, but I’m back on track. Recently I took a huge leap of faith, quit my day job, and will give this all I’ve got. So come back and visit! I will be adding new posts, as well as posting from the “archives” of the last couple years. The studio doors are open again.
I love Pinterest! It such an amazing way for us visual people to not only organize all those images we find inspiring, but also a great way to discover new images and websites through other people who have interests similar to our own.
The one thing I did wonder about when I first stated "pinning", was free reign. I mean it seams like anybody, can pin anything, from the whole world wide web without asking the creator if it's OK. How do you know who is using your art, and are they recognizing you as the artist? How can an artist hold on to the copyright when they have no idea if there is infringement or not.
Sometimes I find images I want to "pin", but can't because the board I found them on didn't credit the artist. I will forgo pinning an illustration I love if I can't give the artist who created it due credit. If there are any clues I'll try to find out who the artist is first. But sometime there just aren't any clues. I wish everyone would follow these simple rules. Thank you Dani Jones for posting these great simple guidelines! Follow that link I just gave you for Dani. She has more detailed info on exactly how to do this on her blog.
Here's a article that will get you thinking. Many books considered masterpieces today, received brutal reviews when they first came out. The list in this article mainly has novels, but you will find a few children's books. One being a book that is now a classic example of the best in illustrated picture books...Where the Wild Things Are.
Publisher's Weekly, 1963
“The plan and technique of the illustrations are superb. …But they may well prove frightening, accompanied as they are by a pointless and confusing story.” — Publisher’s Weekly, 1963
One year later...
In 1964, the American Library Association awarded Mr. Sendak the Caldecott Medal, considered the Pulitzer Prize of children’s book illustration, for Where the Wild Things Are. "In simple, incantatory language, the book told the story of Max, a naughty boy who rages at his mother and is sent to his room without supper. A pocket Odysseus, Max promptly sets sail...There, Max leads the creatures in a frenzied rumpus before sailing home, anger spent, to find his supper waiting."
"A signed first edition of "Where the Wild Things Are," the classic children's book by late author Maurice Sendak, has fetched an eyebrow-raising $25,000 on online book retailer abebooks.com, thus making it one of the most expensive children’s books sold in recent memory."
"Abe Books spokesman... Richard Davies told the Daily News that for "Where the Wild Things Are" in particular, it was rare for these books to go for so much because a lot of the 1960s editions were mass published. To date, 19 million copies of the Caldecott Medal-winning book have been sold."
As I was cleaning off my desk I can across an initial sketch from Gulliver's Travels. It was just a mere outline of where I wanted to go with the profile of Gulliver, but all I could see at this stage was Logan, who I used for a model. It got me thinking about how artists use reference material. So be sure to check out the links below. And Happy Birthday Logan!
started as this...
and came from this shot...
Here are some interesting links to a few artists that I admire, and how they use models, props, and photo reference. Plus, a little sneak peek into their studios. (For Ruth Sanderson click onto her name for an indepth "Artist at Work" page from her website.)